The Toy in the Summer Palace - Chapter 4.1
“Now, this is yours.”
“Yes. I’m giving it to you. Eat on your way.”
Blue eyes swaying like waves contained bright red plums. The voracious ripe fruit was large, appetizing and a little cold. In the sour scent that grazed the tip of her nose, Senita was immersed in heart-fluttering joy.
“Thank you, thank you!”
The child, who bowed her head several times, left the road feeling as if she were going to fly away. Every time a fresh step continued, the black skirt of the maid’s uniform shook.
The forest for summer hunting was large, but it was not too far from the back of the palace to the huts of the hunting grounds, and the trails were clearly visible. Walking along the road, Senita enjoyed the color and smell of the dense forest. The summer forest, which seemed to be covered with green rugs, was endlessly fresh, and when she inhaled heavily, the air penetrated refreshingly deep into the lungs.
Senita couldn’t bear to eat the plum in her hand until she left the palace and looked at it quietly until it was filled with tree shadows everywhere. It looked delicious, but it was a shame and a waste that it would disappear if she put it in her mouth.
This plum was entirely given to her. It was very rare, and so rare. Even if it was just a fruit, Senita was happy. She even felt like she was being loved a little bit, so she was even pounding.
Senita took a bite of the plum with pleasure. The yellow pulp burst and the juice soaked the child’s small hands. The ripe plums were very sweet and delicious.
Life in the summer palace was just like the taste of this plum. Even though she couldn’t see the Empress and the prince as she expected, it was really good. The work was hard, but she was proud after finishing it, and she was able to eat full. It was something to be happy to share a room with a kind aunt and to have people who complimented her for doing well if she worked hard.
She wanted to stay here for a long time. She didn’t want to go back to Aunt Himena’s house. Her uncle’s harsh scolding, her aunt’s sigh, and Franco’s mischievous behavior and hitting were all terrible to recall. By comparison, being scolded by Gaspar or her superiors was nothing. It was much more tolerable.
That’s why she has to do well. She has to work harder. She’s going to give the basket to the hunter again today, and she’s going to clean up the hut as clean as they like. She’s very happy to stay here.
Again and again, Senita took another bite of the plum. The plum’s green color has reached its peak, and the other side of the single road is still submerged in the forest. Senita walked diligently, imagining a villa in the forest at the end of this trail. The braid on both sides shook in the air, keeping pace with the feet.
Gawk, it was when she ate half the plum that she heard the sound of birds above ber head.
Senita raised her head reflexively. The leaves hung thickly, making it difficult to find which tree the bird was sitting on.
The sunlight penetrated through the green roof of the forest poured into the child’s eyes like a waterfall of light. As it blinked in the glare, the bird cried again.
Senita, anxious for a moment at the dismal sound, quickened her steps. Then a loud flap of wings quickly followed.
“Oh my god!”
Without time to avoid, three or four crows rushed to Senita in an instant. The plums rolled out of the child’s hands. The crow beaked a small hand that smelled sweet. The flesh that was stabbed and bled.
“Don’t do it!”
Panicked, Senita began to run with a big swing of her hand to drive the crow out. But the birds were quick and smart. Attacking a small, fragile child to target food in a basket was easy, simple, and even fun for flying birds.
Senita, who ran away from the birds without knowing what to do, quickly got out of the way. But there is no way in the sky. The crows followed close behind her little backs, regardless. The persistent and clever birds seemed to know that a child who could not protect them would soon go out and fall.
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